A Capful of Condoms and Other Summer Tales

A Capful of Condoms and other Summer Tales By Sharon Burns The long awaited day had finally arrived. The car that I lent my 23 year old identical twin sons, for an entire year, was going to be detailed! I was happy and excited to be getting my car back in what I had hoped would be, “like new” condition. A young man with a prospering car detailing business was due to our house in about one hour. My car resembled a modern version of the Beverly Hillbillies run down truck. I politely asked my sons to clean the debris out the car. Their response, “Why should we clean the car, it’s going to be detailed!” Yes this was true, but still I insisted they remove their damp beach towels, shoes, surfboards, sunglasses, empty soda cans and water bottles, food, gum wrappers, and all of the spare change that was stuck in the cupholders. With what seemed like no more than a minute’s worth of work they called out, “It’s cleaned out mom!” Always one to double check a clean up job, I poked my head into the car. Not too bad, most of the larger items had been removed. Just a few little scraps of paper here and there. Imagine my shock and surprise when I lifted the cover of the middle console and picked up a huge handful of brightly packaged condoms! Too startled to really look at these obvious signs of adulthood, I quickly threw them into the only vessel that was handy, my son’s baseball cap that was sitting on the passenger seat. Brimming over with shiny, red-packaged confidence, the cap quickly exited the car and was placed on my son’s dresser. Suddenly, my mind raced with thoughts that ran the gamut from: What are those “things “doing in my car? Do you think they use them? I hope they don’t use them. Hopefully, they do use them! When my sons came home and noticed the capful of condoms on the dresser, they casually laughed and said a friend who works in a hospital had given them to them. “Oh, that’s nice,” I managed to say. The newly detailed car sat glistening in the sunlight buffed to perfection .My twin sons settled down for a summertime bar-b-que on the deck, and I was left to contemplate the deeper conundrum of a “capful of condoms!” “Mom, there’s only one egg left!” cried my daughter. Amazing isn’t it! How does one negotiate the summer months with adult children coming home for a summer in the Hamptons? One lonely, white oval of protein sitting in the refrigerator to feed a family of seven? How could this possibly be? How could there be only one egg left? It’s been a long summer and it’s only half over. Let’s just say from the outset, I love my children. They are everything to me. I cherish and appreciate them. They are wonderful. They also like to eat and don’t seem to understand that you have to go to the store, pick out food and then actually pay for it. No, it does not appear like magic. Even though when Peapod delivers it does seem as if the miracle of the loaves and fishes has occurred. Why is it my problem that there is only one egg left? It could be worse there could be no ketchup!! Family! We love our families. They come in all different shapes and sizes and they like to come to visit, especially in the summer! If you do vacation or summer on the East End one has to be prepared for all types of weather. Guests should always come prepared with a warm sweatshirt or jacket for cool, breezy evenings. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. A good host should have a stock of assorted sweatshirts and cover-ups in all sizes to accommodate their guests. “I’m feeling a bit cold, do you have something I could borrow to put on?” asked my father-in-law. The weather had taken a sudden turn and there was a sharp chill in the air. “Sure, just grab something from the hall,” called my husband. Imagine my surprise when I turned around and saw my father-in-law standing in my black, sleeveless sundress over his golf shirt and shorts. “What are you wearing?” I managed to say as I held back my laughter. He tossed his hands up in the air and chuckled, “I don’t know what the hell I’m wearing!” I looked at him and said, “You’re wearing my sundress, and it’s inside out!” My mother-in-law, a recent expert with the i-phone, jumped up and immediately snapped a picture of Poppy in the skin-tight sundress. All night long as we revisited the image of Poppy standing in what he thought was a suitable sweatshirt, we cracked up again and again. This truly was a laugh to top all laughs. There certainly was no need for any outside entertainment on this particular summer visit. We all will keep this happy and extremely funny moment in our hearts forever. Family, they’re the best! Sharon Burns is the author of “Tough Tommy” a bereavement book for children.